A typical westerner, M. S. Ingersoll has an intimate knowledge of life on the frontier and possesses the strong phisque [sic] and breadth of view which characterize those who live close to the heart of nature. He has resided in northwestern Washington for nearly two decades and is now engaged in farming in Lawrence township, owning one of the old and valuable ranches of this locality. He was born August 7, 1861, in Fillmore, Andrew county, Missouri, and his parents, John and Sarah (Monroe) Ingersoll, were natives of Ohio. They were among the early settlers of Missouri, and the father followed the blacksmith's trade, also making wagons. He enlisted for service in the Civil war and valiantly defended the Union cause. He went to South Dakota in 1876, being accompanied by the subject of this sketch, who was then a boy of fifteen, and in 1881 they were joined by the other members of the family. The father engaged in freighting, transporting supplies through the Black hills, in which were many Indians, and both parents passed away in South Dakota.
M. S. Ingersoll was educated in the public schools of Missouri and as a young man homesteaded land in South Dakota. As one of the pioneer farmers of that region he endured many hardships but eventually converted the virgin soil into a rich and productive tract. In 1905 he disposed of his property in South Dakota and went to Texas, spending two years in the Lone Star state. He next came to Washington and embarked in the fishing business in Seattle, owning a purse seine boat. He was thus engaged from 1913 until 1919 and then came to Whatcom county, purchasing the old Wilcox homestead in Lawrence township. It was taken up as a homestead nearly a half century ago and contains eighty acres of land. The house and barn are still standing and the latter is made of split cedar boards. The house is well preserved and is constructed of twenty-seven inch face cedar logs, hand hewed on four sides, presenting an interesting landmark of the early days. Mr. Ingersoll has a large poultry ranch and also operates a dairy. He has made a close study of these industries and owes his success to well formulated plans and scientific methods.
In 1884 Mr. Ingersoll married Miss Cora Knickerbocker, also a native of Fillmore, Missouri, and four children were born to them: Fred T., who is married and lives in Seattle, Washington; Chauncey C., at home; Harry M., who operates a ranch near the Wilcox homestead and has a wife and three children; and John Francis, known as Frank, who is also married. Mr. Ingersoll is a Mason and belongs to the Whatcom County Associations of Dairymen and Poultrymen, while he is also connected with the Cooperative Hatchery. He follows an independent course in politics, voting according to the dictates of his judgment, and his public spirit has led to his service on the school board. In the training school of life he has learned many valuable lessons, profiting by each experience, and he is now enjoying that prosperity which is the reward of honest labor.
Source: History of Whatcom County, Volume II, by Lottie Roeder Roth, 1926, p. 502
Submitted: Monica Schirmer Eshelman